El Dorado Hills Probate Lawyer Helping Clients Through California Probate
While small estates may be able to avoid a standard probate process in California, most families find that their loved ones own enough property to make the probate process necessary. This process involves passing the real property and funds that belonged to the decedent through the probate court. The probate court will help you navigate and resolve creditor claims, beneficiary concerns, and any other disputes about the estate. The close of a probate involves a distribution of assets according to the decedent’s wishes or, in some cases, California intestate laws.
While some estate plans allow the family to avoid probate, chances are that probate will be a part of the estate administration process for your loved one. In this case, you should consult with a probate attorney for help through this complicated matter. Your lawyer can walk you through the steps of probate and protect your loved one’s assets, businesses, and property from creditors and unnecessary taxes. Contact us right away at 916-894-8790 to get started on your case.
What is Probate?
Probate is the process in which the state oversees critical aspects of estate administration when someone dies. Any person who has an estate that is not in a valid trust must have this estate pass through the probate process. This process is overseen by each county’s superior court probate department.
During probate administration, the court will oversee the representative’s payment of debts owed by the decedent, as well as any other necessary financial matters, such as the sale of property. The representative has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries to make sure assets are preserved and properly distributed. They are also charged with distributing assets to beneficiaries such as a surviving spouse and children. Guardianship of minor children, life insurance policies, vehicles, bank accounts, real estate property, and other assets are all handled during probate.
What Are Some Common Issues with Probate in California?
Probate is normally a series of important administrative actions. However, several issues could come up as your family navigates the probate process following the death of a loved one.
Some common issues that arise during California probate are:
- Fraud – Some families feel that the deceased was deceived or acting under duress when they created or changed their will or trust.
- Invalid will – The will may not be accepted by the court as a valid will if the decedent did not have the capacity or ability to understand what he or she was signing, or if there are other significant defects or errors in the instrument.
- Challenges to the representative – The representative has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the deceased person and follow their wishes. If an executor breaches their fiduciary duty, this could lead to legal action.
If you feel that a part of the probate process is not being completed fairly or according to your loved one’s wishes, you could file a petition against the person person you believe is at fault or has not properly performed his or her duties.
How Can a Probate Attorney Help Me?
Before pursuing litigation regarding your loved one’s estate, please reach out to a legal professional who is skilled in probate law. Your attorney can identify whether fraud has taken place or if the testator did not leave a valid will. They can also help settle disputes among beneficiaries regarding the transfer of assets.
A probate law office is an excellent place to start if you have any concerns about the probate process. A probate attorney can answer your questions and investigate the details of what occurred during the creation of your family member’s will and other estate documents. If it is necessary to take legal action, they will stand by your side throughout the proceedings.
Should You Hire Our Probate Attorney?
If you have any concerns or questions about navigating the complex California probate process, please give our office a call. We work with clients daily who face similar challenges to what you are going through. However, we know that your needs are unique, and we are ready to listen to your concerns and take the time to investigate every detail of your case.
At Yonano Law Offices, P.C., we have decades of experience handling probate issues for families mourning the loss of their loved ones. Contact us right away at 916-894-8790 to speak with our talented legal team and schedule a consultation.